Tag Archives: vampires

A spectacular adrenaline rush ending to Cristian and Atlas’ story

59917837._SY475_Imitate the Dawn by M.A. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG, just OMG!

This did not go where I was expecting it to and bravo to M.A. Grant for completely blindsiding me to how she was going to draw Atlas and Cristian’s story to a close.

There is so much tension in this book that from the off the adrenaline is racing, heart pounding and head rapidly trying to work out just what is going to happen next. The gang is on the defensive from the off following that MAJOR cliffhanger at the end of book two.

And, I mean, I’m still reeling from that revelation so I was desperate to see just how Cristian was going to deal with a betrayal of such magnitude.

You’ll get zero plot spoilers from me in this review because it’d would utterly ruin the effect of what happens in this story (obvious right?!) but let me just say that I never saw it coming, ever, never in a million years.

But it’s such a flipping brilliant way to conclude what’s been a quite outstanding paranormal series from an author who is a must-buy for me.

All the necessary people get their just deserts and our beautiful pairing are solid as a rock as the narrative draws to a close. I know this series is technically over now, but I have to say, I would die for more books from this world.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Double Exposure by Anne Barwell

Double Exposure | Anne Barwell

Pōneke Shadows #1


Release Date: July 11th, 2022

Publisher: LaceDragon Publishing

Cover Artist: T.L. Bland

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 73,000 words / 179 pages

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Vampires and werewolves live long lives. The Sleepless City saga might have ended but the story continues…

Someone is hunting supernaturals.

Vampire Simon Hawthorne and his human partner Ben Leyton’s plans for a peaceful holiday with family are hijacked by the New Zealand Supernatural Council.

Tensions are on the rise in Wellington. Supernatural councillors are disappearing. Werewolves are suspicious of anyone human or vampire. If they don’t work together, their enemy has already won.

And no one with a connection to the supernatural world is safe.

It’s the first in a spin-off series of The Sleepless City and does not end on a cliffhanger.

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Rupert looked mildly affronted. “I am not in hiding. The council were trying to get me involved, and I make a point of not getting mixed up in their politics, whatever the cost, considering that cost is usually too high for anyone but them.”

“You’re hiding from the council?” Ben asked. “I can understand that. They hijacked Simon’s delivery at Auckland airport, then blackmailed him into helping them.”

“If this is supposed to surprise me, you’re a few centuries late with that titbit of information,” Rupert said. “I have yet to meet a council I enjoyed doing business with. Though there was that group of werewolves in rural Japan a couple of hundred years ago that—”

“Why are you here?” Simon cut Rupert off before he could start on one of his stories. Although neither he nor Marion would admit it, they shared a predilection for embellishing stories about their pasts.

Rupert fished a large envelope from his pocket and handed it to Simon. “This is the information I have, but it’s not a lot. They cover their tracks well, apart from that massacre in Brisbane nearly ten years ago. There is someone in Wellington who provides a safe haven to anyone in our community who asks for it. Nothing much happens in the area that Elard doesn’t know about. You should talk to him.”

“You’re not going to help?” Ben asked

“Heavens, no.” Rupert raised an eyebrow. “At least Simon knows better than to ask that.”

“Rupert’s better at staying in the shadows and orchestrating things from afar. If we need help, I’m sure he’ll be there…” Simon glanced at Rupert. “… but only on his own terms. I’d ask him to join our team, but it would be a waste of time.”

“Totally a waste of time.” Rupert grinned and nodded towards both of them in turn. “Now, I must be off. I’ll be in touch. Watch yourselves, gentlemen. I don’t enjoy funerals.” He blurred towards the door. It opened, then closed behind him, and then he was gone.

“He’s kind of how I remember him, but not,” Ben said slowly.

“The not, would be because you didn’t know what he was then. He’s not hiding it now, though he’s never completely upfront about anything.” Simon emptied the envelope, took a pile of neatly typewritten sheets to read, and gave the rest to Ben to look through. “Rupert’s always had his own agenda. It’s how he’s managed to survive so long.”

“Uh-huh.” Ben shook the papers he held. “There’s something loose in here.” A small card fell to the floor. He picked it up and his eyes widened. “It’s a business card, so guessing it’s Elard’s.”

“And?” Simon asked, knowing there must be an ‘and’.

“He’s a Catholic priest.” Ben read the words on the card out loud. “Fr Elard Reith, St Ansgar’s Parish, Newtown. We help those who ask.” He groaned. “Oh great, I was hoping to avoid Uncle Martin while I was here.”

“Uncle Martin?” Simon asked. Ben had mentioned him once or twice, but he’d got the impression Ben’s father’s brother wasn’t that close to the rest of the family.

“Yeah. He lives across the road from St Ansgar’s and always acts like he knows stuff the rest of us don’t.”

“Perhaps he does.” Simon got up to pour some more tea.

“I hope not.” Ben didn’t look happy. “It’s starting to feel like however hard we try to keep my family out of all this, fate is making damn sure they keep barging in.”

About the Author

Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. Anne works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher of a wide range of genres, and is constantly on the look-out for more hours in her day.

She likes to write in series and even so called one shots seem to breed more plot bunnies. Her writing is like her reading – across a range of genres, although her favourites are paranormal, fantasy, SF, and historical. Music often plays a part in her stories and/or her characters are musicians.

She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Her books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.

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Blog/Website | Facebook | TwitterInstagram | Newsletter Sign-up | PinterestFacebook group | The Sleepless City Website | The Sleepless City FB Group



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Release Blitz: Blood Dynasty by Nicholas Bella

Blood Dynasty | Nicholas Bella

Mages & Mayhem Series #2

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Release Date: May 31st, 2022

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Adrian Elias and Sage Tamir have been brought together by destiny as soul mates and they aren’t taking that exceptional gift for granted. However, before they can get accustomed to their new life together, they find themselves in trouble and inconvenienced by the powerful council of mages known as the Echelon Imperial. After being called to a mandatory meeting, they are given an ultimatum that could be deadly if they don’t choose wisely.

If that isn’t enough, the vampire Archduke of Chicago, Salino Laurent, calls in the favor owed him for saving Sage’s life. But when Adrian and Sage hear about what he wants, the two mages wonder if it’s even possible and, if so, is it worth the risk? More importantly, will they survive?

On top of that, Adrian gets a time-sensitive case, and this one he knows he can’t do alone. It is magic deeply rooted in darkness; he will need Sage. But if they fail, then a young boy may not get the chance to see his next birthday.

For anyone else, these would be extraordinary circumstances, but for Adrian and Sage, it is starting to feel like a Monday. With everything coming at them from all directions, they will need to be able to trust each other and what they share more than ever before.

Reader Advisory: 18 and older, adult situations and steamy romance. This book features a charming PI who is head over heels in love with a ruthless mob boss who will do whatever it takes to protect him. It also has an opportunistic vampire Archduke whose schemes are more than what they seem. They promise to keep you reading until the last page.


We’d spent hours last night, going through the book, learning new spells for defensive  and offensive attacks. If we were to face the Echelon Imperial, we wanted to be able to handle business if they tried some shit. I adjusted my suit and tie then looked at Adrian. 

“You ready?” 

He nodded. “Let’s just get this over with, see what the hell they want with us.”

I leaned down, kissing his soft lips. The fact that we fucked for almost two hours this morning didn’t sate my desire to have him again. Since claiming my sexy mage , it was almost as if I couldn’t get enough of him. And the taste of his blood, his heat surrounding me, filling me… the whole sensation left me delirious. 

I forced myself to break the kiss, then planted another soft one on his forehead. I wanted him to not only know that he was treasured, but to feel it. I nodded, and together we made our way into a large mansion with immaculate landscaping. Ivory statues, and pottery, expertly trimmed bushes and topiary. The lawn itself was perfectly mowed and vibrantly green. The marble  columns were polished and gleaming, proving that whoever lived here, loved decadence and luxury. 

Before we could knock or ring the doorbell, the frosted, glass double doors opened and the mage who breached the barrier of my home stood before us. I believe his name was Zendel, and again, he was wearing a black suit, white dress shirt and black tie, as if that was his uniform. 

“Welcome,” he said in that smooth, even voice of his. 

“Let’s just skip past the pleasantries, shall we? This isn’t a social visit, we want to know why you’re demanding our presence,” I said, getting right to the point. 

“Of course, please, follow me,” Zendel stated, then turned and led the way. 

Adrian and I followed him as he led us through the mansion which was just as classically decorated on the inside as it was on the outside. White marble floors with silver veining and matching columns. Hand-sew rugs and runners adorned the floors, numerous  paintings and sculptures added almost an art museum f ee l to the décor. The furnishings were also lavish and a mixture of cultural designs  from French, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and even American influences. I took it all in and I was sure Adrian was doing the same. 

Once we reached another set of double doors, these being polished  black lacquer with a red pentagram on the combined doors. There were also gold sigils on each point of the pentagram, and I didn’t recognise what they meant.

Zendel gestured for us to go forward. “The Council is waiting.”

“What does the symbol mean?” I asked. 

“You may get your answer inside,” Zendel stated. 

I rolled my eyes, because this secrecy shit is one of the reasons  I found mages to be annoying as hell. I never sought out a clan in the past because of that. Also, I’d much rather be in a pride. 

“Will something happen to us when we pass through?” Adrian asked him. 

“You don’t have a choice,” Zendel said. “Please.” Again, he gestured toward  the door. 

I didn’t like walking into the unknown, it just  wasn’t my thing. I could sense magic all around me and it was hard to pinpoint exactly where the source was or if it was from multiple sources. Adrian stepped up beside me and placed his hand on the doorknob. 

“You ready?” he asked. 

“Fine, let’s do this,” I said, and together, we opened the doors, splitting  the pentagram symbol. It would come back together once we  stepped inside,  which we did . The doors closed behind us and immediately, I felt a wave wash over me, invisible to the eye, but I felt it ripple through my body  once I crossed the threshold. I shivered and caught my balance as the  dizziness  nearly had me spiralling. 

Adrian was on one knee and I knew he’d felt the same thing and it pissed me off that we walked into something I deemed was a magical attack. I growled, my eyes glowing in my rage.

“It will pass,” said one of the mages sitting  behind a U-shaped black table . There  was a sigil carved on the table where each mage sat  that matched the ones on the pentagram on the outside of the door.  There were five other mages with him, three males and two females, making a total of six. 

The sensation I felt did pass and I was able to focus more on my surroundings. The f loor also had a large pentagram engraved into it, against, the sigils were on each point. The room was bright as the floor to ceiling windows allowed for tons of sunlight to shine through. The walls each had paintings of the mages in robes, almost like this room was a temple to them. The shit felt like one big cockstroke to their egos. I grunted and  knelt beside Adrian until it seemed like he was starting to  feel better .  I helped him to his feet and kept him close to me before looking at the mage in the middle who had spoken to me .

“What the fuck was that?” I asked. 

“For our protection. The spell you encountered is what makes  this room immune to your magic, and only ours will be effective,” the mage who I guessed might be the leader since he sat at the middle of the table was quite striking in his appearance. Long, straight black hair past his shoulder and combed back. Thick, arched eyebrows over intense brown eyes. He was certainly of Asian descent, Japanese by his features, and he had a regal presence that demanded attention.

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That Mafioso Magic

Mages &  Mayhem #1

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Private detective, Adrian Elias, knows what trouble looks like, and ruthless mobster and lion shifter, Sage Tamir, was just that with a capital T. On top of smelling like heaven, the man has the face of an angel, with a body made for unbridled sin. A combination Adrian finds very hard to resist.

Unfortunately, someone is trying to kill Sage and they’re using magic to do it. Sage usually takes these types of matters into his own hands, but this time, he’s out of his league. He believes the only person who can help him is the down-on-his-luck detective. Problem is, Adrian doesn’t want to take his case because he feels it may be too dangerous. Never mind the volcanic-level attraction they seem to share for each other raising the stakes. Magic and mayhem awaits.

Reader Advisory: 18 and older. Strong adult situations and language. A sarcastic PI and a no-nonsense mobster will keep you turning the pages way past your bedtime. Best order that pizza, because once you start this book, you won’t want to stop.

About the Author

Nicholas Bella Logo

About Nick? Hmmm, I’m just a person with a wild imagination and a love for words who was sitting around the house one day and said, “Why hasn’t anyone written a book like this before?”

As with every storyteller, I wanted to share mine with the world. I like to engage my readers in an adventure that will keep them captivated until the last page is turned. I love to leave readers thinking about my characters and stories until they get their next Nicholas Bella book.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy watching movies and TV shows, clubbing, biking, and hanging out with family and friends. Living my best life.

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